How to Maintain A Personal Bond with Our Co-Workers While Working Remotely
Remote team bonding could be tricky for anyone. It’s not that long ago since we were forced to work from home due to the pandemic.
But before we know it, having a quick chat with our co-workers while taking a short pantry break seems like a faint memory. Leaders and team members everywhere suddenly have to adapt to remote team communication.
It is interesting to see how the working culture has changed. While thousands of workers swap their office desktop computer to doing their daily workload in kitchen counters, batches of new graduates haven’t even got the chance to familiarize themselves with the office life.
As a covid-graduate myself, I have yet to experience what it’s like to go to the office everyday. But strangely, I feel like I know what it’s like to work in the office and socialize with my co-workers.
The more I think about it the more I am intrigued to find out the reason behind it. After a few reflections and researches I did out of curiosity, I found a few things things that would be interesting to share. Team bonding while working from home might not be an easy, but once we find the everchanging sentiment behind this, there are definitely ways to work around it.
The Current Sentiment
The sentiment about working from home has definitely changed from the first time we had to do it in 2020. Back then, job security was the main focus of concern. People are more anxious about whether they can keep their job. Back then, other issues such as how to be close to their co-worker while being away from each other or maintaining a work-life balance seemed rather trivial.
It is said that now, there seem to be a greater sense of optimism. As companies getting more and more comfortable with the changes that the pandemic brought, those who are lucky to maintain their job even stating to talk about how they can get promoted.
“We have lost what I call the soft stuff. The chat when you walk a client to the lift, while you are making tea, as you try to unjam the printer.” – Tanya Joseph
It’s undeniably nice to work in the comfort of our houses and cut commuting expenses, but we have to admit – there is a certain beauty in meeting people we work with directly.
As the initial enthusiasm about remote working dies down, we are faced with the burnout of being stuck and isolated. Being away from the people we are working with definitely serves its own challenges.
Remote Team Bonding Tips
This past year where companies has been applying work from home policies, we can see that there’s some effort to not loose that certain ‘soft things’. Some companies hosts virtual game session every few months or so, and some hold periodical virtual gatherings. But those occasional events can’t make up for the day-to-day work where employees have to work without any meaningful interactions.
The communication gap that working remotely serves can cause stress even when doing a supposedly straightforward task. Daily communication strategies are needed to improve your remote team bonding. Simple as they are, these following tips could do wonders for your team.
The main thing we lost when we have to switch to remote working is visibility. Not being able to see your co-workers makes it a lot harder to see how they are doing and feeling. Who is struggling ang having a hard time? Who just did well on a arduous task and could use an affirmative shout out? These things that we usually could register at a glance now seems like too much of a guessing game.
Creating an Open Room as a safe haven for your team could be just the right counter-attack for this challenge. If you’re not familiar with it, an open room is a virtual room you can create via Zoom or Microsoft Team that your team could hop in to when they want to show you how they are doing. You can have the ‘room’ open all day or maybe just a couple of hours daily. No rules, no agenda, no specific topic to be talk about. Just allow your team to express their feelings and thoughts.
This particular strategy work miracles to amplify our remote team bonding here at Krona. When team leaders send a link to an open room in a group chat, willing team members will join to let go of their frustrations or maybe just to listen to their team’s struggles. Anyway, it’s always nice to share one or two thoughts in the middle of a stressful day.
Working from home is not the change we face in our professional lives. This virus outbreak also shake a lot of things that used to feel very elementary. Promotion strategies has definitely transformed, so are business flows and market’s behavior. But how do we communicate our insights about these changes effectively when our team are far from our reach?
This is where a Mentorship Program comes in to help you enhance your remote team bonding. This is also something that we regularly do at Krona. Every time one of our experts feel like there’s something we can improve, a mentorship program would be held. Please take this as a replacement of a quick knowledge sharing session we usually have from time to time at the office.
Work in Real Time
From what I heard from my friends and colleagues, of the hardest thing about working from home is not fully understanding a task, but at the same time hindered to ask more questions. Having to double-chat a co-worker constantly could make you feel bad for bothering them. Because they must be busy as well, correct?
That’s why working in real time with your co-workers while holding a conference call should always be up for your consideration. Not being able to ask directly, and get a direct answer for your troubles could be analogize as having an office door in your way, blocking meaningful communications. Keeping your virtual office door open is more of a mindset, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
If this is not an idea you are comfortable with, just make sure colleagues feel comfortable cold-calling you or asking for help, rather than being worried about ‘bothering you’.